Washington A. Roebling II and the R.M.S. Titanic

Washington A. Roebling II, 1910
Special Collections and University
Archives, Rutgers University
Though 102 years have passed, the R.M.S. Titanic and the stories surrounding her foundering in the icy waters of the North Atlantic continues to captivate our imaginations.

Washington A. Roebling II, son of Charles G. Roebling, president of John A. Roebling Sons Company, and Stephen W. Blackwell, son of Jonathan H. Blackwell, a wholesale dealer of groceries and for a time state senator for Mercer County, traveled to Europe in the early months of 1912, accompanied by Roebling’s chauffeur, Frank Stanley.

After touring the countryside, Stanley returned home, but Blackwell and Roebling decided to delay their departure and book passage on the maiden voyage of Titanic.

They boarded at Southampton, England, from which she departed on April 10, 1912, destined for New York with ports of call at Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland. The voyage was uneventful until April 14 at 11:40 P.M. when she struck an iceberg off the Grand Banks, near Newfoundland, Canada, buckling plates along the starboard side of the ship. The large gash rendered her watertight compartments useless, and she took on water for several hours before foundering at 2:20 A.M. on April 15.